Middlesex United Way and Comcast were today joined by local community and school leaders, including Middletown Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano, and 30 local school children to officially mark the opening of the first “Born Learning Trail” in the City of Middletown. The trail is located at Wilbert Snow Elementary School. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony featured a number of fall-themed educational activities for the children.
The trail, just the fourth in the state, was installed by Comcast employees and their family members and friends along with United Way volunteers on April 24th during the ninth Comcast Cares Day, the company’s annual day of community service. Comcast employees also installed the first Born Learning Trails in both the City of New Haven and the City of Hartford during Comcast Cares Days in 2008 and 2009, respectively.
“We are pleased to be able to make this Born Learning Trail available to families with young children in Middletown, and are grateful to Comcast and the United Way for providing it,” said Mayor Giuliano. “We know that learning starts at birth, and we want to do all that we can to support parents and caregivers in the very important work of nurturing Middletown’s young children.”
“Our sincere thanks to Comcast and its employees for sponsoring and installing the first Born Learning Trail in Middletown,” said Kevin Wilhelm, Executive Director of the Middlesex United Way. “What happens in a child’s critical early years will impact their readiness for school and ultimately their success in life. Born Learning Trails are a valuable early learning tool that will aid in children’s development in addition to being a fun activity for families.”
“Comcast believes deeply in powering dreams in the communities we serve, and we are proud to support the City of Middletown through ongoing partnerships with organizations like the Middlesex United Way,” said Kristen Roberts, Vice President of Public Relations and Community Investment for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes Connecticut. “Our employees had a wonderful time installing this trail during Comcast Cares Day, and after seeing how successful the Born Learning Trails we installed in Hartford and New Haven have been, we were proud to continue our support of this initiative and by bringing this valuable resource to the Middletown community.”
As a part of United Way’s focus on early childhood education and school readiness, the “Born Learning Trail” is a tool that helps parents and caregivers provide opportunities for everyday learning in fun and relaxed environments. A “Born Learning Trail” is a set of fun, physical learning activities that parents or caregivers can play with young children in an outdoor setting, arranged on a walking trail. The trail offers a variety of activities that encourage children to talk, listen, read, think, imagine and create, helping to lay the foundation for developing problem solving, critical thinking, leadership and team building skills.